The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that goalie Jet Greaves has been recalled from the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters under emergency conditions. The move suggests that starter Elvis Merzļikins, who left Saturday’s win over the New York Rangers after two periods due to flu symptoms, is not healthy enough to dress for tonight’s contest against Detroit. Greaves will likely back up Spencer Martin, who’s in line to make his first start as a member of the Blue Jackets after making 15 saves on 17 shots in relief on Saturday.
Greaves, 22, made his NHL debut late last season when injuries ravaged the Blue Jackets’ crease. An undrafted free agent signing out of the OHL’s Barrie Colts in 2021, Greaves has quickly worked his way up a thin organizational depth chart and has claimed the starting role in Cleveland. He’s off to a good start this season in the minors, stopping 29 of 31 shots in a 5-2 win over Lehigh Valley over the weekend.
It’s a tough early-season interruption for Merzļikins, who has excelled thus far after a rough 2022-23 campaign. Despite taking a season-opening loss against Philadelphia last week, Merzlikins has allowed just three goals on 60 shots faced and boasts a sparkling .950 save percentage through 1 2/3 outings. If the Blue Jackets are going to make any headway in a tough Eastern Conference battle, they’ll need a big bounce-back effort from Elvis, who finished near the bottom of the league with a .876 save percentage and 4.23 goals-against average in 27 starts last season.